South Australia to get new Court of Appeal

The Marshall Liberal Government will establish a new dedicated Court of Appeal in South Australia, as a division of the Supreme Court.

With dedicated judges, the Court of Appeal will develop specific judicial expertise in appeals, leading to efficiencies and consistent, high quality judgments.

“This new Court of Appeal will be a significant change to the way appeals are managed in the Supreme Court,” Attorney-General Chapman said.

“Judges will be appointed to the Court of Appeal on a permanent basis, and as a result of only presiding over appeals, would develop specialist knowledge and skill.

“Presiding over an appeal is a different judicial function to that of a trial judge and this would allow for this expertise to be fully harnessed.

“Dedicated courts of appeal have been operating successfully in many other jurisdictions, for several years,” Ms Chapman said.

“Our interstate counterparts have advised us that this model is an effective way of delivering decisions promptly and efficiently.”

While targeted consultation will occur over the coming weeks the proposed structure consists of:

  • A General Division of the Supreme Court, which will consider civil and criminal matters, and;
  • The Court of Appeal, which will be comprised of a President and a number of other appointed judges.

It will replace the current system of appeals being heard by Supreme Court judges sitting on rotation on the Full Court of the Supreme Court (referred to as the Court of Criminal Appeal for criminal matters).

“The appeals system is an important part of keeping our justice system fair by ensuring there is a process to challenge decisions, where there are grounds to do so,” Ms Chapman said.

“Appeal decisions are also a source of case or common law, setting precedents for the lower courts, so there are many potential benefits of this reform for our justice system.”

Consultation on the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal) Amendment Bill 2019 will occur with key stakeholders over the coming weeks.

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